A former inmate at Cuyahoga County jail filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday over claims his civil rights were violated after he was forced to drink dirty water and eat food off of moldy trays.
Cecil Fluker filed a lawsuit against the county in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court with allegations that the county inflicted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of his 8th, 5th and 14th Amendment Rights, Cleveland.com reports. The lawsuit accuses the county of showing “deliberate indifference” to Fluker’s health and safety.
Fluker was arrested on Aug. 30, 2017, due to a probation violation. While at the county’s downtown jail, he became sick from drinking dirty water and eating off cracked food trays covered in black mold, the lawsuit says. The trays leaked a dark liquid that smelled “like sewer water or feces.”
The lawsuit says Fluker vomited regularly and developed a rash and anxiety after consuming the mold. However, despite getting sick at the hands of poor jail conditions, Fluker was charged $10 for treatment with Imodium and Zofran, the lawsuit says.
Fluker “felt so ill from the water and black mold that he felt as if he was going to die,” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit calls out Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish,
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and a public ethics investigation by a special master regarding the treatment of inmates at the jail, according to Fluker’s attorney David Malik. Malik called out the jail’s prosecutors, county officials
“How does the county repeatedly defend these cases, with
knowledgethat inmates are in imminent danger and not report it?” Malik said. “It’s one thing when an accident happens and you have to defend it, but it’s an entirely different thing to defend it when you know inmates are in imminent danger.”
Fluker wasn’t the only one to file a complaint. The jail’s correction officers also filed grievances regarding the mold, but jail administrators reportedly never fixed the issue until they decided to throw out the trays in December 2018 and January 2019, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit accuses Mills, Ivey
“The conduct of these three defendants shocks [the] conscience,” the lawsuit says.
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